#1
Hi. I'm after advice about how to try and get a decent sound in a set up where your guitar gets plugged directly into the mixing desk and not via an amp.

The situation: I recently got asked to join a group of local musicians who meet weekly for a jam, and occasionally do gigs. At home, I've a decent-ish Marshall amp but it's huge so I don’t bring it with me to the weekly sessions. This means my guitar is going straight into their mixing desk. And it sounds really sh*t! The clean tone is thin, flat and really muffled, and as to the distortion... it's unbearable. I realise this is almost certainly because there's no preamp, but does anyone know anything I could do to improve the sound?

There's another guitarist at this group who's been coming years. He's got a decent guitar (Strat) but uses a fairly basic digital multi-effects pedal. His sound is spot on - clean or distorted, it sounds full and rich. Is it possible that his multi-effects pedal acts as a sort of pre-amp? I know it'll have a master tone knob so maybe he managed to find a sweet spot where it sounds ok?

It's frustrating cos all the pedals on my board are decent quality analogue ones, but they sound terrible there. To make things worse, the sound guy operating the mixing desk has only been with them 6 months and admits he doesn’t know how to operate a lot of the equipment. I've tried to speak to him about EQ levels and I just get a blank look.

I've read about sans-amp pedals - like the Tech 21 Blondie - but at £200, I'm kinda reluctant to shell out for one just for these jams.

My equipment: Gibson SG Standard, Vintage '52 Tele, and a whole load of BOSS pedals.

Thanks!
#2
Pretty much all multi-fx these days double as preamps. There's not really any way of EQing your way out of the crappy sound you get by plugging straight into the board. If it were that easy we wouldn't need or use preamps.

For a weekly jam, something like a used POD doesn't seem like an outrageous expense to me.
#3
^+1
something like a POD would be just fine. You can get the POD XT live used for $100 typically. It is an older version, but will work great for what you want and they are cheap and plentiful used. If you don't need a foot controller version, the regular XT bean sells for $65-$90

you can get a single pedal like a digitech bad monkey (they also have others) that has a cab sim line out on the pedal . I have a bad monkey and I use it as my amp some times at home with a powered monitor. It isn't the best sound, but I can get a passible clean and OD sound for practice.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Mar 15, 2016,
#4
You could get Hughes and Kettner Redbox di and put last in the chain, it will act as speaker emulator, or find another DI box with speaker emulator.
Alternately one of the pedals with emulators, like tech21/Sansamp will do the trick, or cheap multifx, like say Behringer Vamp.
Redbox is the best and that's what I used in the studio when I needed 2nd signal from amp that had only 1 cab:
http://www.amazon.com/Hughes-Kettner-Redbox-Speaker-Simulator/dp/B00DG89W0W%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q%26tag%3Dduckduckgo-d-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00DG89W0W

Another DI with speaker emu:
http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-GI100-BEHRINGER-ULTRA-G/dp/B000CCN15M/ref=pd_sbs_236_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51Nvu0IYodL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR142%2C160_&refRID=0TFCPMFE0D7678KBP11J

Or just get a small combo or one thing I use on jams now, Boss Micro Br which is Walkman sized multifx and recorder. You have to change patches by hand but I dial a general clean and rock tone and just use guitar volume to go up during leads.
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 15, 2016,
#5
Thanks all - that's pretty much what I figured. Not sure I'll be sticking around with these guys in any case so dont think I wanna invest in more equipment just for them. Although am current awaiting delivery of a Wampler Plexi Drive - might help a little with the overdrive sound.

The Behringer ULTRA G is very reasonably priced, but experience has taught me that most of their stuff is just terrible. Anyone used one?
#7
;-) Good point, thanks! Will look into it. My Wampler Plexi-Drive just showed up in today's post. Going to take her for a spin now!
#8
Just spend $100 on a pod. That is cheapest and most viable option IMO.
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#9
Quote by imablackstar
Thanks all - that's pretty much what I figured. Not sure I'll be sticking around with these guys in any case so dont think I wanna invest in more equipment just for them.


If you're not even willing to spend $100 to not sound like crap, I'm not sure why they would want you to stick around?

You aren't buying it for them, you're buying it for you, so you don't sound like festered ass.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#10
Cos I probably wont be staying with the group for more than a couple weeks and normally I can use my amp. But I suppose a POD could be a useful bit of kit to have around in general in case this comes up again.

Thanks for all the advice.
#11
Quote by imablackstar
Cos I probably wont be staying with the group for more than a couple weeks and normally I can use my amp. But I suppose a POD could be a useful bit of kit to have around in general in case this comes up again.

Thanks for all the advice.



A Pod, or something like it, is nice to have as a backup as well, in case your amp decides to take a holiday.
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#12
Quote by Arby911
If you're not even willing to spend $100 to not sound like crap, I'm not sure why they would want you to stick around?

You aren't buying it for them, you're buying it for you, so you don't sound like festered ass.


Totally this.
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youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
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#14
Another quick Q for you good folks. Behringer (yea, yea, I know they're largely pants) makes an 'amp modeler' pedal. Seems like that's essentially what a pod is. Do you reckon that would go some way to helping?
http://www.amazon.fr/Behringer-MODELER-TM300-P%C3%A9dale-mod%C3%A9lisation/dp/B000VZYS66/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1458303421&sr=1-1&keywords=amp+modeler
#15
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Just spend $100 on a pod. That is cheapest and most viable option IMO.


A used Pocket Pod is even less. They are practically given away. And if the OP does not stick with the band its still useful device for practicing with headphones at night or on trips.

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#16
Quote by imablackstar
Another quick Q for you good folks. Behringer (yea, yea, I know they're largely pants) makes an 'amp modeler' pedal. Seems like that's essentially what a pod is. Do you reckon that would go some way to helping?
http://www.amazon.fr/Behringer-MODELER-TM300-P%C3%A9dale-mod%C3%A9lisation/dp/B000VZYS66/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1458303421&sr=1-1&keywords=amp+modeler


That's a ripoff of this one:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SansAmpGT2/

A buddy got the Behringer practice amp that has the same guts as this pedal and for what it is, it doesn't sound bad. It is not a Sansamp but it might actually be a good option in your predicament.
#18
If you haven't bought into Behry, I recently found out that there are several more low cost alternatives to your predicament (speaker emulations):
Mooer MTC1 Trescab, Joyo JDI-01

Cheap pedal with speaker emulation: Digitech DF-7 used probably about $30-$40 has a few decent overdrives.
#19
Quote by diabolical
If you haven't bought into Behry, I recently found out that there are several more low cost alternatives to your predicament (speaker emulations):
Mooer MTC1 Trescab, Joyo JDI-01

Cheap pedal with speaker emulation: Digitech DF-7 used probably about $30-$40 has a few decent overdrives.


Thanks, for all the advice! I was hesitating about the Behringer - sounded like it might have needed a separate DI box. Have just ordered the Joyo instead. It arrives tomorrow - will let you know how it is...
#21
Quote by diabolical
Awesome, keep us posted.

Hi. The saga continues!

So, had my rehearsal last night and took the new toy with me. It definitely made a big difference: my sound was a lot clearer. It's still not as sharp as I was hoping though, most noticably with a distortion pedal. I'm not sure if it's because the Joyo is a passive DI rather than an active one, or if maybe the inbuilt amp emulation aint great? But for 40€ it's certainly improved matters a lot.

But now I'm torn between keeping it and being happy with the improvement I've got, or sending it back in favour of something else to get the job done properly. I've been reading up more on this and it sounds like an even better way to go than a POD is a Tech 21 Sansamp pedal from their Character Series range. At around 400€ new, they're out of budget, but I found out that Joyo (bless 'em and their total lack of scruples) have made rip-offs of these too, which go for a tenth of the price.

So, Im considering sending back the passive DI box to get a Joyo American Sound pedal (their version of the Tech 21 Blonde)
http://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B007L0CH8K/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_hist_3?k=Joyo+JF-14+P%C3%A9dale+d%27effet+American+Sound+-+Orange&showViewpoints=1&pageNumber=1&filterByStar=three_star

Most reviews are really positive, but there are also some very dissastisied customers too. Do you, Diabolical - or anyone else for that matter - know any more about Joyo's Sansamp rip-offs. Or do you reckon I may as well just stick with the DI I have?
Last edited by imablackstar at Mar 26, 2016,
#22
I have no idea but I think in general you're better off trying to tune the gear for better sound with the emulator, considering that you probably have better quality dirt pedals. Its up to you.

You can also eq some bite into the sound from the board, around 3k probably. How about getting HK Redbox used?
http://www.recordingeq.com/Subscribe/tip/tascam.htm